Graffiti covers every available spot in Cours Julien. And it’s beautiful. It’s a great place to take interesting photos and admire the view over a beer.
All of Cours Julien’s bars offer some sort of food option as well including tapas, Mexican, and burgers with fries. Head into the side streets to find other interesting options including African or Indian cuisine. Those after a less expensive option, try the fast food places in Place Jean Jaurès to find a cheap burger or falafel with fries.
It’s really common to find people sharing a bottle of wine while sitting on the pavement or a set of steps or parents having a beer outside the bars while watching their kids on the climbing frames. For people who need more of a lively atmosphere, head east where in the summer, people stream out of the bars with beer in hand.
Quirky-independent shops selling everything from vinyl records, second-hand and new clothes (made by local designers), and handmade gifts (like bags and jewellery) fill the streets to the east of Cours Julien. It’s what makes Cours Julien one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Marseille. Remember that in France, shops tend to stay open from 10 am until maybe 6 or 7pm. They will also likely close for around two hours for lunch. Many remain closed on Sunday, but this, too, is slowly changing.
Alternatively, there are always exhibitions going on around the area. Many of the bars will have DJs during the weekends and live sets during the week in summer.
While the Cours Julien can look dangerous, it generally looks worse than it is. Like any major city area that is up and coming, be sensible and careful with valuables.
The nearest tube station is Notre-Dame-du-Mont, but the Cours Julien is centrally located and only a ten-minute walk from the Old Port.